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Abstract: Ancient and Modern Eolian Analogues: The Permian Rotliegend of the North Sea & the Quaternary Desert of Arabia

GLENNIE K,W., and B.P.J. WILLIAMS, University of Aberdeen

Eolian sandstones have existed sporadically for some 2000 ka. Some form hydrocarbon reservoirs, the Late Permian Rotliegend of the North Sea being a well known and commercially important example. Paleogeographic maps constructed from well data provide a first-order aid to the prediction of potential reservoir character with its inference for poroperm quality. As knowledge increases, the value of such maps is enhanced if modern analogues can be used to suggest what facies might be found in an outstep or even a wildcat well.

The displayed Rotliegend core photos illustrate a variety of eolian and related facies, together with dipmeter data from which the directions of Permian winds can be deduced. The Arabian desert is taken as the modern geomorphic analogue of the Rotliegend. The morphology and trend of systems of dunes, supported by the bedding attitudes of exposed dune sand, enable the regional patterns of Quaternary winds to be plotted. The vertical facies changes seen in Rotliegend cores are matched horizontally in Arabia, on both the mega and minor scale, by Landsat imagery, aerial photographs and the ground truth of field photographs.

Although there are important similarities in the sedimentary patterns of the Rotliegend and Arabian deserts, the modern should not be expected to provide a duplicate for the ancient, but rather to indicate what is available for use in predictive and simulation studies.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah